Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas' exiled leadership, claims that nobody from Iran's Islamic regime or Lebanese Hezbollah had anything to do with the attacks over the weekend that killed at least 900 people and left thousands more injured – but that could soon change.
Speaking with the Associated Press (AP) on Monday, Barakeh admitted that Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terror group, have helped Hamas in the past, including in the 2014 Gaza war – but not this time.
Hamas supposedly constructed its own rockets and trained its own fighters for this recent attack, which somehow escaped Israel's world-class security apparatus, including the famous Iron Dome.
Only a tiny handful of Hamas commanders even knew the attack was going to happen, Barakeh claims. Barakeh's own organization, he went on to state, was also surprised by the Hamas fighters' ability to penetrate Israeli defenses, especially without any help from Iran or Lebanese Hezbollah.
(Related: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising to turn the entirety of Gaza, which is home to more than two million people, into "rubble" – they will pay an "unprecedented price," he says.)
A report from the Wall Street Journal claims the opposite of what Barakeh is saying, arguing that senior members of both Hamas and Hezbollah had disclosed at a meeting a few weeks ago that they were conspiring with Iran to launch the attack on Israel.
The attack itself came just days after Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, called for violence against Israel.
Iran itself issued a statement amid all this confusion denying any direct involvement in Saturday's attack.
"We emphatically stand in unflinching support of Palestine; however, we are not involved in Palestine's response, as it is taken solely by Palestine itself," Iran's United Nations mission said in a statement.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken likewise denies that Iran was involved in the assault, claiming that the Biden regime does not "have anything that shows us that Iran was directly involved in this attack, in planning it or in carrying it out, but that's something we're looking at very carefully, and we've got to see where the facts lead."
"But we do know that Iran's had a long relationship with Hamas, long support," Blinken added. "It's one of the reasons that we have been aggressively working to counter Iran."
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus commented on the attack in his latest briefing to state that what happened is the "bloodiest, the biggest and most gruesome" event in Israel's history – presumably referring to Israel as it has existed since 1948.
Comparing the Hamas attack to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, Conricus says the reason why some 900 people died and more than 2,000 were injured is because Hamas "was focused on butchering and executing and massacring civilians in Israel."
Since there are still dozens of Israelis said to be kidnapped and in holding in Gaza, Israel is still trying to figure out how to safely rescue them while getting rid of the attack "beasts" responsible for their capture.
In the meantime, all food, fuel, electricity and water has been cut off to Gaza's two million-plus residents because Israel considers the Hamas presence there to be "human animals," to quote Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
All of this seems to be leading up to World War III. Learn more at WWIII.news.
Sources for this article include: